Tuesday, April 19, 2016


The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade

Looking for ideas to preach for Earth Sunday?  Here is a list of suggestions for various entry-points and perspectives to approach your sermon.  From connecting faith and science, to preaching outdoors, to preaching about climate change, to countering “green depression,” here are models that can help inspire you on Earth Sunday and any Sunday throughout the year.  The list concludes with the eco-sermon that has gotten the most hits since 2012 when the blog began.

Help your congregation understand the value and necessity of connecting faith, science, and the natural world.  The wonders of God’s cosmos can provide illuminating sermon illustrations while also helping listeners understand that the rest of God’s Creation is just as worthy of care and salvation as humans are.  The figure of holy Wisdom inspiring our human wisdom to observe and care for Creation, is a natural way to connect Scripture and science.

From Cosmos to Atoms:  Religion and Science Meet

Epiphany Sermon: Star Light, Star Bright

Coral Reefs and the Kingdom of God

The Wisdom of Creation:  Animals

These sermons are examples of preaching within the cathedral of Creation.  Our Earth-kin become our fellow worshipers, and we explore what it means to have God “pitch a tent” in our midst and to suffer as a result of ecological devastation.  But the word of God’s redemption always brings us back to Earth.

Sermon to Creation (The St. Francis Sermon)

And God Pitched a Tent - Sermon for a Church Camping Retreat

How do we preach about the climate crisis in ways that deal forthrightly with the realities of our changing planet while also proclaiming God’s work in the midst of this “Good Friday” of our planet?  Here are some examples:

“I Am Ruah” – A Sermon on Climate Disruption

There Will Be Signs:  Climate Crisis Sermon, Advent 1

Waking Up to Confront the Storm

Noah on Mt. Ararat: The Floods of Climate Change

Moses Confronts Pharaoh (The Plagues of Egypt)
(Connecting the plagues of Egypt as a consequence of Pharoah’s hard-heartedness and economic domination to the plagues of climate change and the hard-heartedness and economic domination of corporate fossil-fuel Pharaohs.)

Those who work closely on environmental issues know how serious our problems are on this planet.  We can easily become overwhelmed by despair.  But our faith leads us to return to Scripture to remember how our spiritual ancestors also faced enormous devastation of their homes and communities, and yet were sustained by God.

Green Shoots from Dead Stumps

“I Am Ruah” – A Sermon on Climate Disruption

“Earth Speaks:  What’s Next?”

Earth Day Sermon:  “Falling off the Bike”

This sermon has gotten nearly 1500 hits since it was first posted in July of 2013.

Ezekiel Sees the River
A sermon that names the reality of the “exile” we’re experiencing on our planet and speaks a word of justice and hope not just for God’s people, but for the waters of Earth. “God’s river can bring new life.”

To learn more about how you can incorporate environmental themes, justice issues, and sermon illustrations into your sermons, check out my book, Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015).  And visit my website:  http://www.creationcrisispreaching.com/

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